We finally got to go and see the newest installation in the Chronicles of Narnia last night. After a weekend of snowstorms that kept us in, followed by a week of work that left us too exhausted to go see any movies, we were finally able to get out and enjoy what will certainly be MY favorite movie of the year.
I read my Chronicles pretty religiously. They never get old to me. But Alex won't let me read them out loud to him, so we always have an issue. He asks me questions through the whole film that could have been avoided entirely if he had just let me read the book to him!
I am biased. I will sit and enjoy almost anything that has the Narnia stamp on it, simply because I love the series so much. I have very little to say that is bad, unlike film critics, whom I am fairly certain simply exist because the bitter, crabby, 'can't be pleased no matter what' people of the world have to have jobs too.
The first thing I saw that I loved was how perfect the actor playing Eustace was. Exactly how I had always pictured him - a conniving, sneaking little pig with a constant scowl on his face and an air of superiority.
The Dawn Treader itself was exactly how I had always pictured it. I was excited to learn that they had actually built a real Dawn Treader over another ship and sailed it around England with many children as passengers. What I would have given to be on THAT maiden voyage! I was extremely pleased with Her.
Now to the storyline. Unlike most people in the world, I am quite tolerant when it comes to changing the story a little bit in order to make a good film. You see, I understand that some books should be left as books, because they stand on their own as great stories. Other books are terrible books that would be wonderful movies. It's a fine balance. And so I am giving the changes to the storyline a solid B. The addition of the 'green mist' and the added details of the 7 swords gave the film an added depth that would have been lacking had they simply stuck with the book's passages. And I was not bothered by the rearrangement of the different islands.
One thing I will say about the things that were added to the story is that they were a HUGE foreshadowing to the next story - "The Silver Chair". The 'green mist' that seems to eat people alive is a spell that the Green Lady (the White Witch in a different form) uses to keep Caspain's future son, Prince Rilian, under her control. I smiled to myself and whispered to Alex "Do you see that the Witch's eyes are green?" when she appeared out of the clouds on the Dark Island. Because, again, the Green Lady is coming in "The Silver Chair" and she is the spirit of the White Witch in a changed form. Even the ending was suspiciously like to that of "Silver Chair" as the Witch transforms into a terrible serpent and here in the end of Dawn Treader, they must battle a terrible Sea Serpent to escape from the Dark Island.
At the end of the movie, I cried. Actually, I might have even bawled a little bit. Aslan always brings out some strange emotions for me. Yes, I am completely aware that it is a CGI animated lion with Liam Neeson's voice. Geez, I'm not THAT far over the edge yet. But Aslan represents something so much deeper, and always has for me. He represents that constant, standing anchor - the Hope at the end of life that cannot be expressed by other members of humankind. And at the end of this movie, he tells Lucy that in our world He goes by another name, and now that she has grown, she must learn to know him better by that Name. The Name above all Names.
So help me out here, die-hard fans! Don't let the series die! Each book in the Chronicles should be made into a film by Walden Media and 20th Century Fox! Let's hear it for an announcement of the "Silver Chair" coming soon!!
I give it an A. :)